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July, 2004 - Hacking Through the Tentacles of Despair review by Cary from

I'm pissed! The Monkey Power Trio are a phenomenally fun group to be a fan of. Here we have five people dedicated to getting together one day out of the year to write, record and make a record. Every year they pick a different place to record and every year they sift through the eight hours or so of recording and release the four or five songs that they deem the "best".

Amazingly, each year they get a little better even though they don't ever practice and don't discuss musical ideas with each other prior to stepping in that studio. Last year was arguably the Year of the

Monkey Power as they got their music played on the John Peel show (through no effort on their part). Fans are piling up, their name is being mentioned in the same context as Butthole Surfers and here I sit, one of their most ardent supporters, and do I get asked to play on the record? No. They include a woman for the first time in their history and add the ukelele as an instrument. I've been playing the ukelele since I was in fourth-fucking-grade guys! I was your ukelele man!!!

Oh well, I'll get over it in time. Meanwhile, the new record from Monkey Power Trio, "Hacking Through The Tentacles of Despair", is their most solid effort to date. Starting out with "The Robot Woman Meets The Monster Man", the five member trio first bring to mind MPT records of old with their lilting, slightly off-kilter recorder melody and stream of consciousness lyrics that have something to do with the Robot Woman, the Monster Man and "sexual gratification". I'll be honest. I didn't sit down to really decifer the lyrics on this one because the next track blew my fucking mind.

"Butt Science" is my favorite on this record (shut up, Will) with it's exhuberant, up-beat tempo and hilarious lyrics. "What's the square root of that thing?" the Trio asks, as they preach on about the values of big butt science. Awesome song and it will end up on many a mix tape this year.

The MPT gets a little socially concious on the second side with "TV". "I wanna be just like everyone I see/ I wanna be just like everyone on TV," drifts out over an enthusiastic guitar/ukelele strumfest. It's a great commentary on the media and it's effect on what we perceive as acceptable. Finally, in "UFO", the MPT sends out a query to the aliens asking them what exactly it is that they are looking for in our planet.

I have to admit, the addition of the ukelele really does do something for the MPT sound. On "UFO", as the song winds into a false stop, it's the ukelele that comes roaring back to bring the song to it's climax. Everyone should definitely check out this record.

Again, I plead for you to make these guys rich! Visit them at

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